UNIShare Story

Beth, undergraduate exchange student from New York State, UNIShare resident February - July 2008

In February 2008, I left the United States ready and excited to finally be starting my 5 months abroad in Australia! After 23 hours of navigating through airports, sampling the Qantas vegetarian menu, and finally tracing the plane’s trajectory over the Pacific, I landed in Adelaide, completely exhausted but excited to be on Australian soil at last.

Before I left, I decided that it would be a good idea to actually have a place to live when I got there. I looked online at a few different places; hostels, apartments in the city, resident colleges a bit more north, and then the Unishare house caught my eye. Seven people, one house. Choose a room, share a kitchen, two bathrooms, a laundry room and the common areas. I looked through the website and found that it was the closest option to UniSA’s Mawson Lakes campus. It was also located close to the bus stop, a useful spot for future trips into the city and around Adelaide as well.

After a little deliberation, I emailed Lionel and he replied that there was a room available. I had read that two recommendations were required in order to live there. At first, this seemed strange to me but later it gave me a sense of security in knowing that all the other residents had to produce recommendations too. Then, after a series of emails, I had been able to transfer my bond and first two weeks rent online and was set with a place to live after I arrived.

Lionel met me at the house and checked me in that afternoon. After the first few weeks, more people moved in and the house was full. We had a meeting to discuss some shared responsibilities such as buying the toilet paper and taking out the garbage. At first it was difficult to get into the swing of things. Some issues arose concerning how high to have the air conditioning and how to avoid exceeding the internet quota. We were also shown that ants like messy kitchens and learned to keep it clean and take the garbage out on time.

Whenever we had a situation at the house, we would let Lionel know and he would either suggest a way to fix it or take a look at it himself. If there were housemate issues that we did not know how to solve, he would help out in those cases as well.

All in all, I think that the Unishare house had been an excellent choice. It was clean and well kept up by those who were hired to take care of the common areas and garden. The surrounding suburb is fairly new and rapidly expanding. Very nice houses and very well kept landscape areas, including two ponds and a few parks are also within the suburb. I did not have much contact with the neighbors, but from what I could see, there are many young families in the area and nearly everyone had a dog. Conclusively, the Unishare house was a nice place to be, and for the period of time I was in Australia, it served as more than just a place to sleep, it truly became my home away from home.